Ashgabat, 11 December 2019: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan held a series of round tables in Ashgabat and 5 cities in velayats of Turkmenistan. This initiative is part of the “Strengthening Community Resilience and Regional Cooperation to Prevent Violent Extremism in Central Asia” project to exchange experience with partners, update on the project progress and discuss the issues and challenges of employment and development as well as opportunities for the targeted youth.
The project funded by the Government of Japan targets vulnerable youth, including returning continuously unemployed graduates and former prisoners. The round tables were held in Ashgabat, Tejen, Turkmenbashy, Mary, Turkmenabad and Dashoguz. Each discussion brought together around 15 experts and representatives from employment services, local youth councils, local administration, trade unions, Union of industrialists and entrepreneurs, Women’s Union and individual entrepreneurs.
Participants of the round tables presented the results of profiling conducted by the labor and employment services and considered project results in following up on the interests of young men and women in the area of professional training of the vulnerable youth as well as opportunities for their further employment in each city.
The project also focused on developing business and self-employment skills among young people. As a result of the series of business trainings that covered 138 young people (including 48% of women), 24 young men and women have applied for project grants and 13 of them were approved and started the process of registering their start-up businesses; 53 young people got enrolled in professional trainings for further self-employment. Participants of the round tables highlighted the importance of cooperation with the private sector as one of the important actors on the country’s labour market.
As a result of the round tables it was decided to continue the practice of profiling by the employment departments to learn the interests and needs of young people and further following up by providing an opportunity for vulnerable young people to receive professional training and get certification and tools for self-employment activities, get employment at the existing businesses in the pilot cities.
It was also agreed to jointly organize interactive job fairs in pilot cities with gathering a wider spectrum of employers and conducting contests and master classes to attract more youth.